Full Stack Developer – Explore about it or Become One!

Full Stack Developer

Find out about a Full Stack Developer. Explore the skills, technologies, earnings, advantages and disadvantages that belong to a full stack developer.

Recently, the IT industry has witnessed a massive surge in demand for ‘Full Stacks Developer’. And we all can thank an OSCON conference where a reputed company like Facebook claimed that they only hire Full Stack Developers. Since then, the word ‘Full Stack Developer’ started catching fire in the industry. The salary of an average Full Stack Developer is higher than an average software engineer, software programmer, or any developer. Why so? Let us find out!

Many developers now a day’s claim that they are ‘Full Stack Developer’. But are they telling the truth? Let us find out in the article! What actually is a ‘Full Stack Developer’? How can you become one? What skills you need to become a ‘Full Stack Developer’? In this article, we will answer all these questions.

What is Full Stack Developer?

Many experts call a ‘Full Stack Developer’ as the Swiss Knife of the IT Industry. Just like a Swiss Knife, a Full Stack Developer can do almost anything regarding web development. By definition, a Full Stack Developer is a developer who possesses a thorough knowledge of front end development, back end development as well as data management. In other words, a Full Stack Developer can develop both client and server software. They generally work on both Front End and Back End of a website or an application.

Full Stack Development

Many Front End Developers call themselves ‘Full Stack Developer’, but they are not. Generally, a Front End Developer cannot develop a whole website or application. And hence, it would be wrong to label him as a ‘Full Stack Developer’. A Full Stack Developer must have a strong understanding of how a website or an application works, should know how to handle the data, front end and back end of the data. He should also possess excellent communication skills which are essential for cross-communication between different types of developers to avoid any kind of confusion. Basically, a Full Stack Developer is The Jack of all Trades.

Difference between a Full Stack Developer and a Software Engineer

A Software Engineer is only concerned with the development of software or an application. But in case of a Full Stack Developer, he works on both Front end and back end of software or website or a mobile app. He also indulges in software and application development.

A Software Engineer works on all aspects of developing a software program. He does not deal with the clients and maintains data. Whereas, a Full Stack Developer can do all of these. So we can say that all Full Stack Developer are Software Engineers, but all Software Engineers are not Full Stack Developers.

This is the reason why an average Full Stack Developer earns more than an average Software Engineer.

Different Types Of Developers

Difference between Full Stack Developer and Full Stack Engineer

Again, as the definition of Full Stack Developer goes, a Full Stack Developer is concerned with all the aspects of website or application development. But, a Full Stack Engineer is a more senior role which not only involves all the work of a Full Stack Developer but also has the responsibility of a Project Manager. The later should be well aware of how methodologies like DevOps and Agile work. He should have excellent communication and other soft skills to manage all the projects and tasks involving multiple Full Stack Developers.

How much does a Full Stack Developer earn?

As mentioned earlier, a Full Stack Developer has a high demand in the IT industry and also earns much more than an average Software Engineer or any other developer.

Here is average salary per annum of a Full Stack Developer in three of the most popular regions of the United States:

  • San Francisco: $132,389
  • Washington State: $116,794
  • New York: $124,820

According to reports from Indeed, the United States, an average Full Stack Developer earns $109,508 per year. On the other hand, an average web developer earns merely $71,130 per annum.

Advantages of becoming a Full Stack Developer

  1. Currently, the Full Stack Developers are enjoying a massive demand in the IT industry. They are enjoying a superior pay scale too. Many companies prefer to hire a Full Stack Developer who can handle all the aspects of a website or application development instead of hiring 2-3 engineers for the same work. So, in other words, having a Full Stack Developer reduces the overall cost of any project.
  2. Full Stack Developers find it very easy to work in small teams or tech startups in any geographical location.
  3. These developers can make any prototype quickly.
  4. Since Full Stack Developers have sufficient knowledge about the Front End and Back End Development of any project, they can easily switch between the two according to the requirements and their will.
  5. They have a better understanding of all the new and upcoming technologies in the industry.
  6. Full Stack Developers are not restricted to just development. They have a diverse job role which can include almost anything in the project.
  7. Some leading companies in the IT industry like Apple, Facebook, and General Assembly give a high income to their Full Stack Developers.
  8. According to reports, jobs of a Full Stack Developer in the United States are expected to grow from 135,000 to 855,000 by 2024. This shows the massive surge in the employment opportunity for a Full Stack Developer.

Advantages And Disadvantages Of Becoming A Full Stack Developer

Disadvantages of being a Full Stack Developer

  1. As mentioned in the first advantage of being a Full Stack Developer, companies hire these people and pay them more instead of hiring 2-3 more people. This is one of the reasons why the companies expect the Full Stack Developers to give more output and efforts than the typical 40 hrs/week.
  2. The Full-Stack Developer is tasked with finding solutions to any problem involved in a group project. In such cases, the solutions provided by the Full Stack Developer may not be suitable for everyone according to the worker’s skill set.
  3. Because of so much responsibility, the professional life of a Full Stack Developer is quite complicated.
  4. In a project involving two or more Full Stack Developers with an equal skillset and experience level, it sometimes becomes challenging to divide tasks and responsibility. The chances of confusion in work are unusually high, and there are high chances of ego clashes among the Full Stack Developers. Hence in such cases, involving multiple Full Stack Developers, there is a need to have a Full Stack Engineer to monitor and divide the responsibilities.

Front End Developers and Back End Developers

As we have discussed earlier, the development of a website or a software consists of three main phases: Front End Phase (which is responsible for client interaction), Back End Phase (which is responsible for server maintenance and all the background works) and finally, the data maintenance phase. Many companies still prefer to have dedicated developers in each of these phases, and this trend will continue to do so. A Full Stack Developer is someone who has expertise in all the three mentioned phases. He can handle and switch between any of the phases according to the requirement and will. Let us explore these phases and the types of developers.

Front End Developers

Before jumping to the task of the Front End Developers, let us see what Front End means. Front End of a website is the part of the website with which clients and users interact. Everything the users see when they are browsing through the internet is a part of Front End of the website. Developers who are concerned with this phase of a website or an application are called Front End Developers. They are responsible for writing, debugging the codes which help develop the interface of a website.

Skills required to be a Front End Developer

The Front End Developer is expected to have the following skills:

  • Understanding of JavaScript libraries and framework
  • Version Control / GIT
  • Responsive mobile design

Apart from that, a Front End Developer should have expert knowledge on the following languages like

  • HTML (Semantic HTML) and its frameworks
  • CSS and its frameworks
  • JavaScript (JavaScript is considered to be the life of any web application) and its frameworks

Apart from these frameworks, the Front End Developers should also be familiar with frameworks like

  • Bootstrap
  • Backbone
  • AngularJS
  • Foundation
  • EmberJS

These frameworks ensure a better-looking content irrespective of the device.

To conclude the Front End Developer’s role, we can say that the Front End Developer is responsible for the interior and exterior look of a house or a building. This building is built by a Back End Developer.

Skillset Required

Back End Developer

Back End Developers are concerned with the background tasks of a website or software development. These developers are significant to website development. They make the work of the Front End Developers possible. The Back End Developers generally also take care of the databases of the website. The back end of a website has a server, an application and a database typically. The Back End Developers work to build and maintain these three elements which enable the Front End Developers to work on the client interacting end of the website. They are the ones who are responsible for building the house so that the interior and exterior designing can be done by the Front End Developers.

Skills required by the Back End Developers

In order to be a successful career, the Back End Developers should have the following skill sets:

  • API architecture (REST / SOAP)
  • Database Management
  • General Understanding of Front End Technology (this is required for cross-team communication)

The Back End Developers should be very familiar with server-side languages like:

  • Python
  • PHP
  • Ruby
  • Java
  • .Net

They should also familiarize themselves with tools like

  • MySQL
  • Oracle
  • SQL

Generally, when there is a job opening for a Back End Developer, you can see that there is also a requirement for the expertise in PHP frameworks like CakePHP, Symfony and Zend. The Back End Developers should very well know how to use the Linux operating system as this is the operating system used by an overwhelming majority of servers.

Skills required to become a Full Stacks Developer

Let us have a look at the skills become a successful Full Stacks Developer:

Front End Technology

Since Front End Technology involves all the skills required to interact with the clients and the users directly on the web page or the software interface, a Full Stacks Developer should know everything about this field. The primary skills required are:

  • Expertise in programming languages like HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. The Full Stacks Developer should also be aware of all its frameworks and how to use them.
  • The Full Stacks Developer should know about the use of one or more than one popular front end frameworks like Angular and React.
  • He should be comfortable with popular JavaScript libraries like jquery and Bootstrap.

Back End Technology

  • The Full Stacks Developer should have expertise in server end languages like Python, PHP, and JavaScript.
  • In the case of Python Stack, he should be comfortable and very familiar with its frameworks like Django, Flask, Chargers Py.
  • In case of the .NET stack, our Full Stacks Developer should be comfortable and very familiar with its frameworks like asp.NET MUC, and asp.net web API
  • In case of Java Stack, he should be comfortable and very familiar with its frameworks like Spring Boot, Spring MUC, Spring REST.
  • As discussed earlier, and expertise in PHP is a must. This is because PHP is one of the most widely used languages in website development. It is used in designing WordPress, which is by far the most popular Content Management System (CMS). Around 34% of websites all over the world use WordPress. This makes PHP the most popular website’s backend language in the world.
  • The Full Stacks Developer should also have expertise on Object-Relational Mapping (ORM) tools of Java.

Databases

Databases

Maintaining all sorts of Data is crucial in website development, and the Full Stacks Developer should know how to manage them. The skills required for this field are:

  • Should be able to work on SQL databases like- ORACLE. SQL Server, MY SQL
  • Should be able to work with no SQL databases like – MongoDB, Amazon DynamoDB
  • The Full Stacks Developer should know the skills required for debugging and writing SQL queries, SQL function and other stored procedures.

Source Control Software

  • These software tools help you to keep track of all the changes made on an application or the website by the different developers working on your project from different Geographic locations.
  • He should be aware of the working of popular source content tools like GIT, CUS, Microsoft TFS etc.

Soft Skills

Since the role of a Front Stacks Developer involves maintaining Front end, Back End and Data Maintainance responsibility, he should have enough skills to survive in the industry. He will be tasked with managing projects and even communicating between two different sets of developers. Hence the soft skills required by the Full Stacks Developers are:

  • Communication Skills
  • Time Management Skills
  • Leadership Skills
  • Planning skills
  • Team management skills

Other skills

The Full Stacks Developer should also have complete knowledge of the DevOps and Agile methodologies which is crucial for any project management activity in the IT industry.

I hope you found this guide useful. If so, do share it with others who are willing to learn about the different topics that we publish here on our blog. If you have any questions related to this article, feel free to ask us in the comments section.

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